The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Intersectionality, as the internet defines, is “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.”
Professor Kimberle Crenshaw first termed the word ‘intersectional feminism’ in 1989. She defined the term as “a prism for seeing the way in which various forms of inequality often operate together and exacerbate each other,” in an interview with the TIME.
Intersectional feminism in simple terms deals basically with the overlapping of social prejudices.
The early days of feminism back then was more or less conducted due to white supremacy where black or queer women were not taken into consideration. Hence, intersectional feminism confronts the idea of feminism that is exclusively upper caste, cis heterosexual, ableist which does not take into consideration the women of marginalized communities.
For example, we all know how prevalent the caste system is in India. The recent cases of sexual atrocities against women in India clearly tells us that lower caste women are more prone to rapes and other forms of violence than the upper caste. Hence, Intersectional Feminism lets us understand the reality of oppression. Oppression isn’t the same for everyone. Kimberle Crenshaw says and I quote “If you see inequality as a ‘them’ problem or ’unfortunate other’ problem, that is the problem”.
The reason we need intersectional feminism is because oppression exists. Oppression exists in the respect of race, gender, sexuality, caste, wealth and so on. No matter how much some try to negate the existence of privilege, it does influence the status quo of the communities. However, intersectional feminism does not convey that the suffering of some is more than the others. As Roxanne Gay would say, “the acknowledgment of my privilege is not a denial of the ways I have been and am marginalized, the way I have suffered.”